What is CBG?
CBG, or cannabigerol, is a minor cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. CBG is known as the “parent cannabinoid” because it is the precursor to other well-known cannabinoids such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). This means that, as the cannabis plant matures, CBG eventually turns into these other compounds through a process called decarboxylation.
CBG is produced in the trichomes of the cannabis plant and is usually present in relatively small quantities, typically less than 1% of the plant’s total cannabinoid content. Because of this, CBG is often referred to as a “rare cannabinoid.”
CBG can be extracted from the cannabis plant through a process similar to the extraction of CBD or THC. This typically involves using solvents such as CO2 or ethanol to separate the CBG from the rest of the plant material. The resulting extract is then further processed to purify the CBG and remove any remaining solvents.
Once extracted, CBG can be used to create a variety of products such as tinctures, edibles, and topicals. CBG is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not produce the “high” associated with THC, and has been studied for its potential therapeutic effects on a variety of conditions, including inflammation, anxiety, and depression.
Benefits of CBG
CBG is attracting increasing attention due to its potential therapeutic benefits. While research into CBG is still in its early stages, a growing body of evidence suggests that it may offer a range of health benefits.
Anti-inflammatory Properties – CBG has been shown to possess potent anti-inflammatory properties, making it a promising candidate for the treatment of various inflammatory conditions. In a study published in the Journal of Natural Products in 2016 found that CBG reduced inflammation in a mice model of colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease. Another study published in the European Journal of Pain in 2018 found that CBG reduced inflammation and pain in a rat model of osteoarthritis. Additionally, in vitro studies have shown that CBG can reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and modulate the activity of immune cells, suggesting a potential role for CBG in reducing inflammation.
Neuroprotective Effects – CBG has been shown to have neuroprotective effects, making it a potential treatment for conditions such as neurodegenerative diseases. A study published in the Journal of Neural Transmission in 2015 found that CBG protected neurons from death in a cell culture model of Huntington’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder. Another study published in the Journal of Neuroscience Research in 2017 found that CBG reduced oxidative stress and inflammation in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease, suggesting a potential role for CBG in reducing neuronal damage and preserving brain function. In vitro studies have shown that CBG can reduce the production of oxidative stress, protect against oxidative-induced damage to neurons, and reduce the toxicity of certain proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases, such as beta-amyloid.
Antidepressant Effects – CBG has been found to have potential as an antidepressant, with several studies suggesting that it may help to alleviate symptoms of depression. A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in 2016 found that CBG reduced depression-like behaviour in a mouse model of chronic stress through an increase in the release of serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that are involved in regulating mood. Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology in 2019 found that CBG reduced anxiety and improved mood in a small pilot study of healthy volunteers. As well, some in vitro and animal studies have suggested that CBG may have an impact on neurotransmitter systems involved in regulating mood and anxiety, such as the serotonergic and endocannabinoid systems.
Antitumor Effects – CBG has been found to possess potent antitumor properties, making it a promising candidate for the treatment of various types of cancer. In a study on mice published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2009, CBG was found to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells, suggesting that it may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of colorectal cancer. Another study published in the International Journal of Oncology in 2016 found that CBG reduced the size and number of tumours in a mouse model of lung cancer. In vitro studies have suggested that CBG may have an impact on various cellular processes involved in cancer, such as cell growth, apoptosis, and angiogenesis.
Antibacterial Effects – CBG has been found to have antibacterial properties, making it a potential treatment for various types of bacterial infections. While research in this area is still in its early stages, there have been some studies that have found CBG to have antibacterial effects against a range of bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a type of bacterium that is resistant to many commonly used antibiotics. For example, a study published in the Journal of Natural Products in 2016 found that CBG was effective against MRSA and other types of bacteria. Another study published in the journal “Frontiers in Microbiology” in 2018 found that CBG showed potent activity against a range of clinically relevant pathogens, including MRSA, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli.
It is important to note that while these findings are promising, much more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of CBG and to determine the best ways to use it for therapeutic purposes. Additionally, the effects of CBG may vary depending on the individual and the specific condition being treated.
Interactions and Side Effects of CBG
Like CBD, CBG is a non-psychoactive compound. However, there is limited research on the interactions of CBG with medications, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before using CBG if you are taking any prescription medications.
CBG may interact with medications that are metabolized by the cytochrome P450 enzyme system in the liver, as it can inhibit this system, leading to increased drug levels in the body and potentially leading to toxicity or other adverse effects.
In addition to potential interactions with medications, CBG can also cause some side effects on its own. Some of the most commonly reported side effects of CBG include dry mouth, low blood pressure, and dizziness. CBG can also cause changes in appetite, sleep patterns, and mood, as well as fatigue and confusion in some individuals.
It’s important to note that these side effects are generally considered to be mild and temporary, and many people do not experience any side effects at all. However, if you are using CBG and experience any side effects or if you have concerns about the potential interactions with your medications, it’s important to talk to your doctor.
In conclusion, CBG is a promising compound that may offer a range of therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, antidepressant, antitumor, and antibacterial effects. While more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of CBG, these early findings suggest that it has the potential to be a useful tool in the treatment of various health conditions.